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 The Bryants/Michael Scott Louis

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climbergirl
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PostSubject: The Bryants/Michael Scott Louis   Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:44 pm

TN Editorial: Bryant family seeks closure

Published: Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 4:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 6:54 p.m.



The conviction Tuesday of serial killer Gary Michael Hilton for first-degree murder in Florida brings back painful memories for mountain residents. After more than three years, there’s been no resolution in the murders of Irene and John Bryant, the Horse Shoe couple killed while hiking in Pisgah National Forest in October 2007.

On Tuesday in Tallahassee, a 12-member jury found Hilton guilty of first-degree murder. The 64-year-old drifter from Georgia could get a death sentence for murdering Cheryl Dunlap, a 46-year-old nurse.

Hilton is already serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to murdering 24-year-old hiker Meredith Emerson in north Georgia. He is the prime suspect in the murders of the Bryants, who disappeared while hiking in the Pink Beds area of Pisgah National Forest.

After an exhaustive search by authorities and volunteers, Mrs. Bryant’s body was found in November 2007 near where the couple had vanished. Mr. Bryant’s body was discovered in February 2008 along a roadside near Franklin.

Hunters found Dunlap’s remains in the Apalachicola National Forest southwest of Tallahassee in December 2007. Hilton was arrested at a north Georgia convenience store where he tried to dispose of Dunlap’s boots, authorities said.

At the time he was apprehended, Hilton was driving a van filled with hiking and camping gear and clothes stolen from his victims. He was initially charged with kidnapping Emerson, who vanished on New Year’s Day 2008 while hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Hilton was able to cop a life sentence in that case by agreeing to lead investigators to Emerson’s body. He is also suspected in the murder of 27-year-old Michael Scot Louis, who disappeared later in Ormond Beach, Fla. Like Dunlap and Emerson, Louis was decapitated.What little evidence has been made public suggests the Bryants apparently were the first of at least five victims. In spite of this, Hilton has never been charged or indicted in their deaths.

In the North Carolina case, federal prosecutors took control because the Bryants’ bodies were found on national forest lands. In February 2008, the U.S. attorney in Charlotte issued a statement saying that neither federal nor local authorities would answer any questions about the Bryant case. Gretchen Shappert, the former U.S. attorney who has since been replaced, said: “Any announcements of decisions made before this investigation is complete could damage any future prosecution. Only with a full investigation can we guarantee the Bryants that justice will be fully and finally dealt to the perpetrator of these heinous crimes.”

That was three years ago. The federal lockdown on releasing any information in the Bryant case and the lack of action have been frustrating for the public and the couple’s children. Son Bob Bryant said he is disappointed with the length of time it has taken the U.S. Department of Justice to do something in his parents’ case.

“I understand there are multiple cases, but these families deserve justice,” he said.

Family and friends of the Bryants are still waiting for justice. Once Hilton has been sentenced in Florida, federal authorities should take prompt action to finally bring closure to the hideous serial killings that took place here.


http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20110217/ARTICLES/102171010/1014?Title=Bryant-family-seeks-closure
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PostSubject: Re: The Bryants/Michael Scott Louis   Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:52 pm

Thanks for reminding us about the Bryants
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PostSubject: Re: The Bryants/Michael Scott Louis   Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:26 am

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